October 5, 2023
Many years before it held our Museum, our Darlinghurst building was home to the Maccabean Hall: a Jewish community centre, crucial to rehabilitating and integrating Holocaust survivor refugees in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Holocaust survivor, Jack Meister explores what the building means to him.
September 1, 2023
The festival of Rosh Hashana is both a joyous celebration and the start of a period of ten days during which observant Jewish people engage in profound introspection and prayer. Museum volunteer Racheline Barda recalls what the Jewish new year traditions were in her household in Egypt growing up.
August 23, 2023
Want to know what it’s like being part of our Youth Committee, a vibrant community of young people who are eager to make a difference? In this blog, our members explore why they joined the Youth Committee, and some of their highlights from their past year.
June 19, 2023
Refugee Week: An interview with Holocaust survivor Peter Halas On Refugee Week we share an interview with Holocaust survivor and founder of Seafolly, Peter Halas. Peter shares what made him …
May 17, 2023
For an initiative based on artificial intelligence, humans have been at the core of every phase of our cutting-edge AI project right from the beginning: from the survivors who sat down to answer 1,000 questions, to the museum staff who work with this technology every day, and the visitors who have personal interactions with it.
May 8, 2023
This untitled and undated artwork in our collection, likely from the 1970s, is marked by its swirling Hebrew letters and primary colours. The artist was a Holocaust survivor named Joe Rose who came to Australia after escaping to England. Senior Curator Roslyn Sugarman shares its unique story.
April 19, 2023
Learn about our incredible new Migration Stories: Arrival Forever primary school program, aimed at students in Years 5 and 6, that shines a light on the experiences of the Holocaust survivors who made new lives in Sydney after the war.
March 24, 2023
If you are in need of inspiration today, here are words from four Holocaust survivors: Olga Horak OAM, Eddie Jaku OAM, Jack Meister OAM and John Grushka, on resilience, perspective, happiness and humour.
March 7, 2023
Gusta Snyde had dreams of becoming a surgeon, but anti-Jewish laws prevented her from studying medicine. Instead, she became a nurse for sick Jewish ghetto and concentration camp inmates. She would also join a women’s Underground resistance group, and after the war, care for 100 orphaned children.
February 27, 2023
During the nineteenth century, most of Europe’s Jewish population migrated from small villages to large cities. This would create a major cultural shift, with Jews taking on the “modern” culture of the era. Our Education Officer, Dr Jonathan Kaplan is a dress historian. In this article, he tracks the shift in the clothing Jewish families wore as they transitioned from village life to city life.
February 1, 2023
To mark World Pride coming to Sydney, our Head Curator Roslyn Sugarman shares the story behind these “acceptance” rings in our collection – owned by the first couple in Australia to have a same-sex Jewish religious wedding: Oscar Shub and Ilan Buchman.
January 18, 2023
“These weren’t just museum objects to catalogue; they became living objects with tangible connections to the past. I suddenly felt the weight of what I was doing”. Go behind the scenes with our student volunteers, to uncover some of what they learnt during their time at the Museum.
January 9, 2023
Reminders of humanity: Jacqueline Dale’s birthday cards Bordered by blue tape and creased by decades of history, the birthday cards given to Jacqueline Dale (nee Feldman) on the occasion of …
November 28, 2022
With visitors already able to have realistic conversations with the projections of Holocaust survivors, it really does seem like the future of museum storytelling is already here. What other innovations can we expect to embrace in the future? We asked some of our experts what the future of museum storytelling may hold.
October 27, 2022
“With every quip that is brushed off, every joke that is let go, every slur that is ignored we do something very powerful – we give permission”. Our Manager of Student Learning and Research, Dr Breann Fallon, responds to the recent anti-Semitic comments by the rapper, Ye, in our latest article.
September 19, 2022
Head Curator, Roslyn Sugarman tells the story of two unfinished diaries from the Museum’s collection. They are filled with photographs about Liesje – a little girl who was murdered in Auschwitz in 1943 – just two months shy of her sixth birthday. A poignant window into family life, these diaries reveal the depth of a mother’s love.
September 10, 2022
Carpets are an ancient Jewish art form, created from thousands of knots, delicately tied by hand. Learn about the Jewish migrant family that almost single-handedly introduced the Australian public to these highly labour-intensive works of art.
August 26, 2022
“Public displays of Nazi symbols are not only an affront to those who lost family in the Holocaust and those who survived it, but also send a clear message of discrimination, racism and hate.” Manager of Student Learning and Research, Dr Breann Fallon, reflects on NSW’s recent ban of Nazi symbols.
August 5, 2022
In this image from our collection, Dasia holds a photo of her parents close to her heart. She was four years old and living as an Aryan child when her mother and father were deported to Zbaraz ghetto and later murdered.
July 1, 2022
NAIDOC Week: William Cooper’s Legacy The roots of NAIDOC Week can be traced back to the 1920s and 30s when First Nations rights groups took formation and staged boycotts and …
May 18, 2022
Hundreds of volunteers from all walks of life and backgrounds have dedicated their time and hard work to support the Museum since our inception 30 years ago. Here’s a spotlight on some of the generous volunteers who work with us.
May 11, 2022
Lucy Chladek was born in 1937. Even after surviving the Holocaust, she and her family were still not safe.
May 6, 2022
On International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia we reflect on the untold testimonies from the persecuted LGBTIQ community during the Holocaust.
May 5, 2022
In 1994, a librarian named Tinny Lenthen took what she thought was a short-term job opportunity at the Museum’s newly opened library. 28 years later, Tinny still sits behind the library desk. She remains one of few constants in a space that has been totally transformed over three decades.
April 26, 2022
Last July, Wendy Sharpe took to the walls of the Museum to paint a large mural titled “Vu iz dos Gesele?” Sadly, due to Covid lockdowns, the mural would never be seen by Museum visitors, until now, with the release of a new documentary by Joshua and Karly Marks about the exhibition. Here’s what the filmmakers had to say.
April 21, 2022
During Genocide Awareness Month, Dr Breann Fallon explores the hard truth that the crime of genocide prevails around the world – and that genocidal atrocities are occurring right now, in more than one place. We examine the definition of genocide as a crime, some of the cases of genocide that have been ignored and the key warning signs we should be looking out for.
April 13, 2022
Not much has been written about Jewish soldiers fighting in the Allied armies against Germany during World War II. One estimate puts the number at 1.5 million. Resident Historian, Emeritus Professor Dr Konrad Kwiet examines what happened to Jewish Allied soldiers during the Holocaust.
March 24, 2022
This Seder plate from our collection was given to Samuel Steif in a Displaced Persons Camp in Germany in 1948. It depicts the emancipation of the Jewish people from slavery – a meaning that would have taken on a deeper significance right after the Holocaust. It is engraved not with the traditional saying “Next year in Jerusalem”, but rather, “This year in Jerusalem”.
March 17, 2022
For many Holocaust victims and survivors, poetry was used to convey experience in ways that traditional language simply could not. Holocaust poems have emerged as an important medium to express emotions of suffering, despair and even hope.
February 10, 2022
A recent Australia-wide survey by the Gandel Foundation found that a quarter of Australians don’t know about the Holocaust. Our Head of Education, Dr Rebecca Kummerfeld provides some important insights.
February 9, 2022
The recent banning of Art Spigelman’s “Maus” books by a US school board prompts Sydney Jewish Museum Educator, Dr Breann Fallon, to ask: what is more dangerous, a book itself or the action of banning it?
February 1, 2022
Bully and Gerda became engaged after meeting in the Berlin Jewish Youth movement in 1937, but the burgeoning romance was almost cut short when Bully was deported to Sachsenhausen concentration camp in 1939.
January 20, 2022
On 20 January 1942, high-ranking officials of the Nazi State assembled at a villa on lake Wannsee in Berlin to sign the infamous Wannsee protocol, a plan for what was to be known as the “Final Solution”.
December 31, 2021
In 2018, we received a donation of a mysterious hand-carved lampstand. We know little about the maker, aside from the fact that they were a Lithuanian displaced person in a DP camp in Germany.
December 30, 2021
Maurice Rooklyn was one of Australia’s leading entertainers – a hypnotist, juggler, ventriloquist, illusionist and magician. Born in England in 1905 to Russian-Jewish parents, his family migrated to Australia in 1912.
December 13, 2021
These Christmas-themed charms in our collection were made by a seamstress named Trude Baumann, within the walls of Oederan concentration camp between 1944 and 1945. Delicately detailed using small pieces of green and red felt, they showcase her talent for intricate stitchwork.
December 10, 2021
Jacob Bloch was a shoemaker from a shtetl in Lithuania, who immigrated to Sydney during the Great Depression. Barely able to speak English when he arrived, Jacob went from dance studio to dance studio, selling shoes. 90 years later, Bloch is an internationally-renowned dance and activewear label.
December 3, 2021
This new donation to our collection will keep our curators and a Yiddish translator busy for at least three years.
November 29, 2021
Jack was born in a village just outside of Krakow, where a small group of Jews were hiding in a farmstead. With Nazis patrolling the area, the cries of a baby in hiding created an imminent danger.
November 23, 2021
This chanukiah was used by Rosalie and Ernst Salm to celebrate the festival of Chanukah, during the three years they were incarcerated in the Theresienstadt. It appears to have been made by hand from a low-grade metal; there are no distinctive marks from the chanukiah’s maker, though it was created by inmates within the walls of the ghetto-concentration camp.